Mission. Our 2019 USS W.S. Sims (DE/FF-1059) Reunion was such a resounding success we’re planning an even better follow-up for May 13-16, 2021!
Messing and Berthing. The Hilton DoubleTree, 1201 Riverplace Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207 (904-398-8800) is hosting our reunion. The hotel is located on the east bank of the St. Johns River near the junction of I-10 and I-95. We have negotiated special rates for a block of rooms at the following prices (including anticipated tax). For all rooms, please tell the hotel whether you want one Queen-size, one King-size or two Double-size beds:
– Standard (facing inland) – $141.88 per night;
– Riverfront – $164.57 per night;
– King Riverfront Junior Suite – $187.28 per night.
For those who would prefer to bring a recreational vehicle, there are about 20 RV parks in the vicinity of Jacksonville. Enter “RV parks near Jacksonville FL” in your web browser to check them out.
Please make your own room reservations at the following link:
or call 1-800-222-8733 and ask for “USS Sims Reunion,” Group Code SIM.
When registering, you have the option to check-in either Thursday, 05/13 or Friday. Check-in time is 1600, check-out 1100. Room reservations must be made not later than midnight, 04/22/2021. To be eligible for refund, room cancellations must be made at least 48 hours before check-in. There is an early departure fee of one night’s room plus tax unless you advise the hotel at or before check-in of any changes to your planned length of stay.
The hotel is handicap accessible with roll-in showers. It also offers complementary hot breakfast 0600-1000 (two per room daily) in the St. John Provisions dining room.
Self-parking onsite costs $6.00 per night, half off the normal price.
Flight Quarters. The DoubleTree is about 15 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. There is no shuttle to the hotel, but there is Uber and taxis.
Morning Quarters. Friday, 05/14 is Day One for the Reunion. The DoubleTree has made a complementary Hospitality Suite available for our use Thursday evening through Saturday. We’ll confirm which room it will be, based on the number of reservations we get. After checking-in, come meet your shipmates, their guests and share your sea stories or other tall tales. We expect to have a Welcome Aboard package available for all shipmates and guests, and a Reunion Book to sign.
Plan of the Weekend. Friday features a bus trip to Naval Station Mayport for a ship’s tour, hopefully of a cruiser/destroyer-type warship. Unfortunately the ship will not be handicap accessible. Cost for those wanting to participate is approximately $55 per person, max fifty-four. Saturday is Independent Steaming Exercises (“free time”) for visiting, sight-seeing or just relaxing by the pool.
The major event will be a banquet, tentatively scheduled for DoubleTree’s Amelia Room on Saturday from 1800-2300. There will be a cash bar and after-dinner entertainment. We’ve requested a buffet-style service with a pasta station, a wok station and two carving stations. Estimated cost per person is $65-$70.
Disbursing. To reserve your billets for this unforgettable cruise to the past, we are asking for an initial deposit of $75 per person by 01/15/2021. When we have a firm muster, we’ll determine and advise all hands of everyone’s fair share to fund the banquet, the bus to the naval station, refreshments for the Hospitality Suite and incidental costs. This will be the second and final deposit. These deposits are refundable in the event the pandemic or some other unforeseen event forces us to cancel.
Please send personal checks or money orders made out to “USS Sims Reunion” to Wayne Craig, 2 Turkeysag Trail, Palmyra, VA 22963.
Communications Bill. To help us with planning, please let us know if you are interested in signing up by sending an email to Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, number of guests, your mailing address, and phone number.
We’re looking forward to seeing as many of you as can possibly attend and the more, the merrier! Let us know soonest if you have any concerns, questions, special mobility or dietary needs so we can make necessary arrangements with the hotel. Please make your refundable reservations with the DoubleTree and USS Sims Reunion soonest so we can make this reunion an event for the ages!